Saturday, October 4, 2014

The supreme sacrifices

The Holy Qur'an abounds with stories from the lives and times of innumerous prophets, saints and their families who treaded this earth, each with a lesson to treasure and a message to revere.

But one of the things that amazes me is that all these blessed souls who were destined to serve the divine cause, of whose dedication, submission and deliverance the Almighty testified Himself, and whose love for the Lord are beyond limits and comparison, were tested with such afflictions and time and again proved their honesty and belief in the Divine word. Why?

They need not have gone through any of it. They could have lived a life of comfort (if not of luxury), and preached in the shades of silk! But no sir! Nor did they ever desire it nor did the Almighty so prefer. They had a mission and the road was in no way an easy one.

One such story is of Prophet Abraham and his son Ismael, when Allah tested both the parents' and the son's submission to his will by asking the father to sacrifice his son's life in the name of Almighty.

Prophet Abraham passed the test by willing himself to do so once the message was clear. Our Lady Hajira passed the test by accepting it as the will of Allah when she learnt of it. And Young prophet Ismael (a little boy then) passed by readily laying his life by even suggesting his father to blindfold himself during the sacrifice so that his love for his son may not intrude his love for the Almighty.

Allah rewarded them by replacing young Ismael with a ram (a variety of sheep) just as the father moved his blade across his son's neck and thus sparing the lad's life. And was so pleased by their dedication, love and deeds, that He made their deeds immemorable till eternity and including it as part of every cult that succeeded ever since.

In Islam it is celebrated as various rituals that are part of the pilgrimage to Mecca, and as the Eid-ul-Azha or the Festival of Sacrifice, in rememberance of this incident, in honour of these blessed souls and by the Divine command. But the lesson to be learnt are deeper.

What are the lessons you understand from this story? Are we imbibing the lessons in our life? Are we even pondering over them at least?

Wishing a blessed, peaceful, happy and prosperous Eid-ul-Azha to all.

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